Censor.NET reports citing the presidential press office.
The parties had a frank discussion on the topical issues of state development, particularly on the constitutional amendments on decentralization.
The president stressed the importance of "sincere and frank discussion on decentralization, which is one of the major reforms that Ukraine has been waiting for many years". He urged the attendees to become the leaders of reformist ideas of decentralization and be active defenders of the unity of the country and its further democratic advance.
The president stressed the importance of supporting the process of constitutional amendments' approval by the Parliament. "We are one team. We have the same view of Ukraine's interests and coordinate the state's movement. I want you to speak. The people of Ukraine must hear your voice, for you are the authority for Ukrainians. We must speak with one voice," the president stressed.
"Creation of local self-government is one of the elements of the construction of Western civilization. Strong local self-government was and will be one of the main civilizational differences between Ukraine and Russia. And it brings us closer to Europe," the head of state stated.
The president noted that constitutional amendments provide for the efficient fuses that guarantee territorial integrity and unitary form of Ukraine. At the same, decentralization has nothing to do with such issues like defense, foreign policy, security, human rights and freedoms.
Former Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States Yurii Shcherbak underlined the need for improving communications between the authorities and the public. "We are your allies, but there are some things that must be explained to people," he said. He stressed the necessity of dispelling "Putin's myths" that Ukrainians and Russians are allegedly the same nation and that Ukraine is allegedly under external control.
The president answered: "You are absolutely right. There are no fraternal nations at war. There is a united Ukrainian nation, which is moving towards Europe and there is a Russian nation, which is in a deep crisis".
The first president of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk noted that constitutional amendments shouldn't endanger the country in any way. He urged to hold such meetings more often and listen to each other. "People must understand that we are together with them," he noted.
The meeting was also attended by Chairman of the Parliament and the Constitutional Commission Volodymyr Hroisman.
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